Well folks, it’s official, today is the first day of fall!
I don’t know about you, but this is my favourite season by-far.
Fall has traditionally been the season of going inward, reconnecting with ourselves and our surroundings. Fall really is the season of s-l-o-w-i-n-g down. With that said, our nutrition should be shifting with each season too.
Coming off of a busy summer, it is nice to take an afternoon and get creative in the kitchen. When the weather is cold and gloomy I don’t feel as bad spending time inside. So, last weekend, that’s exactly what I did.
I found a gorgeous spaghetti squash as my local market and let that be my inspiration for dinner. I knew I wanted it to meet all of my cravings: sweet, savoury and most of all it needed to be filling.
Lentils really are a star ingredient in this recipe, providing a good source of protein and fibre, they are what turn this dish into a meal.
Before I started on the filling, I cut the spaghetti squash horizontally, creating 2 inch discs. Once I scooped the seeds out of their centres, I popped them in the oven with my maple glaze and let them roast while I cooked up the lentil filling.
This dish will take minimal effort and will leave your home smelling amazing and, hopefully, having yourself and your guest’s mouths watering.
Ingredients for maple glaze:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp water
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp salt
Directions for maple glaze:
whisk all the ingredients together in a small jar and set aside
Directions for spaghetti squash nests:
preheat oven to 400 degrees
slice squash into 2 inch disks
place the disks on a baking tray and remove the seeds from their centre
brush the disks with the maple glaze and place in oven
bake for 30-40 minutes (will know they are done when your fork can easily begin separating the “spaghetti strings”
lightly rake your fork over the disks, allowing for a separation between the strands to occur, making them look like little nests
Ingredients for lentil filling:
3 cups cooked lentils
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cups vegetable of choice, I used brocollini - other examples are: carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower
1 tsp salt
2 tsp graham masala
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup raisins
1 cup almond milk (unflavoured)
Directions for lentil filling:
begin with a small amount of butter or oil in your pan, add onions and sauté on medium until translucent
as onions are cooking, add in your spices to gently warm/toast them (graham masala, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt)
add in all other veg and sauté until tender
add cooked lentils to the pan
slowly add in your almond milk, stiring well to allow the lentils to soak up much of the milk
ensure the spaghetti squash nests are well cooked. no need to remove the skin.
scoop the lentil filling in to the centre of the nests
drizzle with tahini, maple syrup and crumble a few pieces of toasted walnuts (or whatever seed/ nut combo you prefer)